Don't Make This About Faith

I hate to say this, but about 87% (I’m guestimating) of the mothers I know voice the same complaint. As far as I can tell, it has little to do with Judaism and Inmarriage/Intermarriage, and everything to do with the way we’ve traditionally divided labor. This is why, years ago, The Mother’s Circle was created, because the Jewish community recognizes the importance of the mom’s role in the religious life of most homes.

This is not to say you’re stuck with the grind, but rather to suggest you avoid making this a conversation about intermarriage and the difference in your backgrounds. If your husband is defaulting to work-avoidance, I’d make this a conversation about work. Because that’s what it is!

I might even suggest you simply make a list of tasks, and ask him which he wants to take on for Yom Kippur. Often people respond better to simple requests for change than they do to lengthy explanations and logical arguments for why the changes should be made. And if you ask him to make the grocery run, get the kids dressed for shul, or polish the candlesticks, and he refuses, THEN you can have a talk about his ritual-avoidance. But give him a chance to help before you get annoyed.

The flip side of this is that when you let someone else help, you have to be prepared to give up some control. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done exactly your way. But that’s the point of collaboration, isn’t it? Good luck! This is a great time of year to grow and change.

Laurel Snyder is the author of books like “Bigger than a Bread Box” and “Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted To Be Kosher” and Project Manager for Atlanta at InterfaithFamily. Find her online at or on Twitter @laurelsnyder.

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Don't Make This About Faith

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